President Donald Trump — or any other elected official, for that matter — should not have to release his tax returns, Rep. Chris Collins said Friday.
"Let's remember he filled out a personal financial disclosure form that shows more details than a tax return will ever show," the New York Republican told CNN's Chris Cuomo on the "New Day" program. "Somehow that never comes up."
Cuomo maintained that Trump's continued refusal fuels speculation about the separation between his businesses and the White House, including the most recent example, when White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway urged Americans during a live TV interview Thursday to buy clothing from Ivanka Trump's fashion line.
"Well, it fuels suspicion by those that don't like Donald Trump," said Collins.
Cuomo argued that the information contained in Trump's financial disclosure statement is "his own reckoning of a private business. Remember, all of his holdings are private, not public. That's part of the issue."
"Tax returns are not required," Collins told him. "Tax returns, these folks who say I want to see who he owes money to and this and that, that's not even on his tax returns.
"I've yet to find anything that anyone would say on a tax return that isn't on his personal financial disclosure form, which is more intrusive than a tax return. I've always said he shouldn't report his taxes. I don't think any elected official should.
Collins also commented on the 9th Circuit's order on Trump's travel ban, saying he doesn't see that there is a role in Congress for legislation along those lines.
"So many things, Chris, are coming down to pure politics," said Collins. "The Democrats are just going to be saying no on all his nominees. They'll say no on legislation."
He said, though, that the president has many options to keep his executive ban, and if it moves quickly, it could end in a tied vote in the Supreme Court.
"The president's job is to keep America safe," said Collins. "It is his opinion that matters. The law is quite clear. So if there is some little piece of this that the courts are finding problematic, I suppose that could be reworked. So it's certainly an issue that's going to be fluid. We haven't heard the end of it."
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